Sunday Afternoons at the Blackman House

Frances Wood, Guest Speaker

Writer, naturalist and teacher Frances Wood spoke on Sunday, February 15, about her book “Down to Camp: A History of Summer Folk on Whidbey Island”. Frances is related to the Blackmans who lived in our historic home. Her great-grandmother was Nina Blackman, a cousin to Hycranus Blackman who hired her to teach school in Snohomish when he was serving on the school board in the 1880s. It was during this time that several families, including the Blackmans, began spending the month of August camping on a Whidbey Island beach — reached by boat going down river. This tradition continues to this day and France’s account of this unique summer culture through the years is informative and quite endearing.
Frances Wood Following a short Q & A, Frances read parts of the first chapter from her new book, which is a fictional account of Nina’s journey to the frontier town of Snohomish to teach school and her courtship with Charles Bakeman. It was a real treat and enjoyed by all .

One thought on “Sunday Afternoons at the Blackman House

  1. Regarding Frances Wood and her book “Down to Camp”, my great grandmother was born Lillian Blackman, in Maine in about 1868. She was the daughter of Almon and Marcia Blackman. Almon was a first cousin to the 3 well known Blackman brothers. Almon came out to Snohomish county about 10 years after these 3 cousins. Lillian Blackman married Walter P. Bell in 1890, they lived in Snohomish and they also had a cabin on this beach on Whidbey. From my family I inherited several photo albums which have many pictures of this beach, the people and cabins from the very early years of the 20th century. The pictures are in very good condition and most contain captions providing information on when the pictures were taken and who was in them. What is every bit as interesting is Lillian’s daughter Doris (born 1897) kept diarys during this time and I have all her diarys where she talks about the people and happenings on this beach and in Snohomish in those early years.

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